We do not have all the answers and don't pretend to be the expert on this subject, but we are willing to share with others what we've learned. Our thoughts in doing these bulletins is that by sharing what we've learned from your many perspectives and applications, we can provide a background for understanding of EMCOMM units and their "care and feeding"; which we earnestly hope will translate into your unit being involved in a very meaningful way in your area.
In 1992 we did a bulletin (RB229) titled RADIO OFFICER LIAISON. Let's review it and see it it's still applicable (with some words changed to year 2001 terms):
"A major factor in the decline of an EMCOMM response unit (whatever its name or however it is attached) is the unit Officer who does not REGULARLY stop by the government office to which he or she is attached.Such ongoing visits are for a fourfold purpose:
The busier the administrator, the greater the potential need for the unit Officer who is capable of providing (by his/her own ability or those of others) clerical, administrative, management, computer graphics, data base or word processing talent, editorial ability; all skills other than just those of the emergency radio operator.
Observing these needs comes from frequent visits with a "how can I help" attitude in mind at all times. Few busy people will turn away skilled and competent help, quietly offered and efficiently implemented with management skills. Certainly, doing this can take time and effort, but the rewards to the unit, as well as the agency, are immeasurable. It is a real win-win situation when carefully studied and implemented.
From the responses over the years you have illustrated that these concepts do work, especially the one about "other skills".